I don’t know about you, but as the weather gets colder, I’ve definitely been craving some good comfort food. This lasagna certainly did the trick and was the perfect fall dinner. With layers of creamy butternut squash, a rich tofu ricotta, crispy caramelized onions and lots of fresh herbs, it’s pretty hard to mess up. I just love this lasagna because it gives you that satisfaction of having an indulgent, hearty meal all while being full of protein and nutrients. Another plus—your kitchen is going to smell AMAZING.
A few notes on this recipe:
- I recommend using traditional lasagna noodles for this (not no boil). First of all, I think it adds a ton flavor and second, I don’t think there is enough liquid in the lasagna to fully cook dry noodles.
- When boiling your noodles, prevent them from sticking together by stirring constantly. Make sure you have a long container full of ice water ready to lay them in when they’re done. They’ll cook quickly—4 or 5 minutes, so have a pair of tongs on hand.
- I really recommend using fresh herbs for this, dried will work too it just won’t be as flavorful.
For the butternut squash purée:
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 stalks fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp maple syrup
For the caramelized onions:
- 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb lasagna noodles
- Fresh thyme + rosemary for garnish
Step 1: Roast the Squash
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and toss your cubes squash and onion with oil, rosemary, thyme, maple syrup and a big pinch of salt. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender and caramelized.
Step 2: Caramelize the Onions
While the squash is roasting, get started on your onions. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add in your onions, a big pinch of salt and balsamic vinegar if using, stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply caramelized— about 30 minutes.
Depending on when you start, they should be done around the same time as the squash.
Step 3: Make the Tofu Ricotta
In the bowl of a food processor, combine drained tofu (I like to press mine for a few minutes to draw out any extra moisture), nutritional yeast, miso, soy sauce, lemon and olive oil. Pulse until very smooth —about 2 min. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Step 4: Boil Lasagna Noodles
Heat a large pot of heavily salted water until boiling and cook your noodles according to the package instructions. You want the noodles to be very al dente so they can finish cooking in the oven. Mine took about 4 minutes. When done, remove from water and quickly lay them flat in a bath of ice water to prevent sticking. (See above)
Step 5: Purée The Squash
Clean out the bowl of your food processor and add in the roasted squash along with dairy free milk. Pulse, scraping down the sides and gradually adding in pasta water a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture is smooth and creamy. I ended up using about a cup of pasta water.
Step 6: Assemble!
This is the fun part! Crank your oven temperature up to 425 F and start by spreading a thin even layer of squash purée onto the bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Lay down your noodles, followed by a layer of tofu ricotta and a sprinkle of caramelized onions. Next, more noodles followed by a layer of butternut squash, more noodles and another layer of pasta. The very top layer should be tofu ricotta with caramelized onions and an extra sprinkle of fresh herbs. You can really do it however you want but this was the order that I ended up with:
Thin layer of butternut squash purée
Butternut squash purée
Step 7: Bake
Bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through and the tofu ricotta has begun to brown. If you want to get a little more crisp on the top layer of onions, you can pop it under the broiler for a few minutes. Let cool for 15 or so minutes before serving.